One of the most enjoyable fall family activities is apple-picking, and nothing tastes better than homemade applesauce or a warm pie packed with handpicked fruit.
A baked good or two (or four) barely makes a dent in a bushel of apples, however. Thankfully, all you need is a few easy apple recipes and crafts, and you’ll put the entire harvest to good use.
The best part is that all of these apple activities can be done with the whole family—giving you an opportunity to teach young kids about the importance of eating healthy and creative ways to reduce waste. With these three simple (and exciting!) projects, you will use every ounce of every apple while creating delicious treats and lasting memories in the process:
Apple Carrot Juice
One of my favorite ways to use a surplus of apples is to make homemade apple juice. Free from preservatives, added coloring, and artificial flavors, freshly made apple juice is something you can feel confident in serving to your kids and their friends.
Oxidation begins the moment you cut into an apple, so homemade juice is a drink best served immediately. If you have leftovers, freeze the remaining juice as quickly as possible. It’s just as important to eat your vegetables, so I like to combine carrots with the apples to get some extra nutrients. I also add a bit of lemon juice to help keep the juice fresh in color and taste.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 4 apples
- 8 carrots
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
Core the apples, and set aside the cores for later (you’ll be using those to make your bird feeders). Place the apples, carrots, and lemon juice into your juicer. Serve immediately.
After juicing the apples and carrots, you’re left with extra juice pulp that was extracted in the process. Rather than throwing away this fiber-rich ingredient, transform it into delicious muffins. Your kids can even help out with mixing the ingredients, and they’ll especially love licking the spoon. If you don’t have time to make muffins the same day as you made your juice, freeze the pulp. It will be ready to defrost and use when you have more time.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1½ cups wheat flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- Cinnamon to taste
- 2 cups of apple and carrot pulp
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 cup almond milk
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and cinnamon) into a large bowl and your wet ingredients (pulp, maple syrup, almond milk, oil, and extract) into a smaller bowl. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Once everything is incorporated, pour the batter into muffin tins lined with baking cups. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
Apple Core Peanut Butter Bird Feeder
You’ve now successfully used 90 percent of your apple, but what about that pesky core? Apple cores make a great base for your kids to build a bird feeder on. To make these simple apple crafts, tie a string around the top of each apple core, coat them all with peanut butter, and top with birdseed. Find the perfect trees, hang your homemade bird feeders, and enjoy the view. See the Humane Society for more tips and techniques on safely feeding backyard birds.
If you still have apples left over, repeat these easy apple recipes and crafts, and share the bounty with your friends and neighbors. Apple picking is truly the activity that keeps on giving this fall. Enjoy the entire process—from picking to juicing to crafting with your family—and make it a yearly tradition that will stand the test of time.
What are your most favorite, easy apple recipes? Let us know on Twitter!
Image source: Wikimedia Commons | Wikimedia Commons | Wikimedia Commons
This article was brought to you by Tom’s of Maine. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of Tom’s of Maine.
Why It’s Good
Don't fret about how to use all the harvest from your family's apple-picking adventure. Try these easy recipes and crafts, and enjoy the fruits of your labor this fall. You will have fun as a family making nutritious snacks while also feeling good that you aren't wasting food.